Image from USDA
I am writing to express my concern about the effects of the changes to SNAP (the food stamp program) contained in the 2018 Agriculture and Nutrition Act (2018 Farm Bill) recently approved by the House of Representatives’ Agriculture Committee. Although its supporters tout as benefits of the changes to SNAP increased self-sufficiency resulting from harsher work requirements and a decrease in fraud and abuse, this overlooks the serious repercussions for food-insecure individuals and families.
As noted by the Food Research & Action Center, the proposed SNAP changes remove states’ current ability to adjust SNAP assets tests so that income levels are determined after expenses for basic expenses like shelter and childcare. It is projected that without this flexibility, not only will states’ administrative costs increase, but low-income working people with children will lose SNAP benefits, including their children’s direct access to free school meals. The proposed SNAP changes would also eliminate the current exemption from work requirements for college-student parents of young children without access to adequate childcare.
So, while some in Congress would have their constituents believe that a goal of the Farm Bill’s tightened SNAP requirements is to help food-insecure citizens achieve independence, it seems that the impact of some of the proposed changes will have the opposite effect and will do tremendous harm to low income people, including the working poor and their children.
Amy Rothstein, New York Congressional District 19